As I said before, I'm very irritated about the new restrictions on pseudophedrine. And as the cold and flu season gears up, other people are getting ticked off, too. From Paul Boutin's blog, via Boing Boing:
Instructions for Americans
To buy original formula Sudafed, Wal-fed, or other pseudophedrine sinus medicine that actually works (not the new Sudafed PE), go to your supermarket or drugstore and look in the cold remedies sections where it used to be. They now have little fake boxes or cards you take to the pharmacist to say "I want one of these." The pharmacist checks your ID and you sign for it.
Why can't you buy Sudafed over the counter anymore?
The renewed USA PATRIOT Act signed into law in March includes a "Meth Act" aimed at reducing production of methamphetamines, which can be manufactured from pseudophedrine, aka Sudafed. That's why Sudafed changed their over-the-counter formula to Sudafed PE. You can still buy Sudafed original if you go to the pharmacist at Safeway or Walgreens. But you can only buy one box a day and three a month, and you need to present a photo ID and sign a log for the pharmacist. The idea is to keep meth dealers from buying Sudafed in quantity to cook it into methamphetamine. The bill was attached to the Patriot Act after co-authors Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jim Talent (R-MO) were unable to get it passed by other means.
In case it's useful:
Contact Sentator Feinstein
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
[Talent was defeated in the last election.]
What's most upsetting, of course, is how our rights can be eroded (our right to free breath!) without much attention or fanfare.
UPDATE: Check out the comments here and on Boing Boing. It's a contentious topic. More info on Slate, MSNBC, and Frontline.